If you have sciatica, or if you have experienced it in the past, you understand how debilitating it can be. You may feel sharp pain in your low back or buttocks, and the pain usually shoots down the leg. Sciatica makes it difficult to stand, walk, and sit. You may wonder what the best treatment for this condition is, and there are various methods that are effective. One is dry needling, which you can experience at Totem Lake physical therapy.

What To Know Before Dry Needling

If you have never had dry needling before, you may be hesitant to try it. However, once you know what to expect and how it can benefit you, you will be more likely to schedule an appointment.

What it Is

The purpose of dry needling is to treat and release myofascial trigger points. These are tender, knotted areas found along the connective tissues of your muscles. These trigger points are sensitive and painful.

With dry needling, a physical therapist inserts a thin needle into these trigger points. It is called dry needling because there is no medication or other substance on the head of the needle. When the trigger point is stimulated, this allows for a normal blood flow, which releases tension.

Ask Your Doctor About Medication Interactions

Before scheduling a dry needling session at northwest physical therapy, check with your doctor to make sure there are no contra indications with health issues or medication you are taking. For example, some clients experience a bit of bruising after a dry needling session, which may be an issue is you are taking a blood thinner.

How to Prepare for Your Session

Wear loose clothing that allows the physical therapist to easily access the treated area. Because your PT will be working on the lower back, buttocks, and legs, loose-fitting shorts may be a good option.

Depending on the severity of your sciatica, you may experience some discomfort during the session. In some spots, you may experience a twitch response, which is a quick spasm in the muscle. This indicates that the muscle is reacting in the appropriate way.

Benefits of Dry Needling

If you have sciatica, dry needling may be just one part of your treatment plan when you receive physical therapy in Mount Vernon, WA. One of the biggest benefits of dry needling is pain relief. You should feel a reduction of pain after the first session, but you may need more than one visit to completely alleviate the pain, especially if it has been there a while. Additional benefits include:

  • Increased circulation
  • Faster healing
  • Reduced inflammation

Another benefit of using dry needling is that it is a healthier alternative to medication, which just covers up symptoms, or surgery. You can also receive dry needling in conjunction with other treatment methods, which may include stretching, manual therapy, and exercises.

If you suffer from sciatica, it may be worth checking out dry needling. It is an effective treatment method that helps reduce pain and increases motion of the area.


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